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Japanese Baseball

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Baseball was introduced to Japan in 1872 by Horace Wilson, and the first formal team was established in 1878, and it has been a popular sport since.

In 1913 and in 1922, American baseball stars visited Japan and played games against university students. They also held clinics on technique. A retired major league player, Herb Hunter, made eight trips to Japan from 1922 to 1932 organizing games and coaching clinics.

It is played at all age levels but most widely in junior high schools and senior high schools. In March and August, two tournaments are held in Koshien Stadium for senior high school teams that win a prefectural tournament.

The highest level of competition is Nippon Professional Baseball, started in 1920. It is called Puro Yakyū, meaning Professional Baseball.

In 2005 the Japan Samurai Bears began play in the Golden Baseball League, becoming the first Japanese team in an American professional baseball league.

Several manga have baseball as their subject matter, including Touch and Major.

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